The (Writing) Year in Review

It’s the first of the new year, and I can’t resist reflecting on last year’s journey toward becoming a published author.

I entered contests, and to my surprise, placed in a few.

I finished two novellas, a full-length novel, and a category romance. Sure, some of those pages will never be available for public consumption, but I learned to “finish the damned book.”

These accomplishments didn’t happen in a vacuum, however. Three things made them possible.

First, my husband challenged me to make 2014 the year I committed to becoming a writer. I’d dabbled in the past, writing in spurts and stopping when work and life needed me more. But in early February, my husband encouraged me to treat my writing as a career. He promoted me among our friends and family, and he gave me the confidence to go “all in.” If that weren’t enough, he convinced me to attend the RWA conference in San Antonio and to set the date of the conference as my deadline for completing my first manuscript. Now, I’m living the life of a writer, and I owe him for pushing me in the right direction.

Second, I met my critique partner, Olivia Dade, a few weeks before the RWA conference. Olivia and I met online and discovered that we lived in the same state. I’m so glad we connected. We’ve navigated this crazy writing world together. She gives me honest feedback, which she delivers with humor and just the right amount of care. I hope I’ve managed to do the same for her.

Third, I discovered the community of romance writers, which I call “the village.” Countless writers, published and unpublished, share their experience and experiences on social media sites and at gatherings of writers. Without the information these writers shared, 2014 would have been a very different year for me.

A writer’s life is often described as a solitary one. To some extent, it is. Generally, though, writers have a few folks in the background who support their goals and believe in them. For me, that circle of friends and supporters is growing. I’m thankful for every person who has impacted my writing career in some way.

2015, bring it on!

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